Published: November 01. 2012 2:11PM
Written by Renata Parker
You’ve never been properly spoiled unless you’ve cruised by small ship. With the ability to access ports not available to behemoth fleets and by offing more custom experiences to travelers, small cruise ships are becoming the luxury resorts of the high seas.
“It’s a red-carpet, five-star experience all the way,” says avid traveler Carolina Bryan, who recently took a Seabourn Baltic cruise on with friend Joe Walker. “When you arrive, you are met by red carpet and greeted by a tuxedoed, white-gloved staff. Then you’re escorted to your suite and introduced to your personal attendant who is assigned just to you during your entire trip.”
With a reputation for stellar service, Seabourn’s six intimate, all-suite ships are a top choice among travelers seeking distinctive cruising vacations. In fact, one of the company’s mottoes, “Clairvoyance is a job requirement,” is testament to the kind of service guests can expect.
“Every cabin is a suite with walk-in closets and many with balconies,” says Anne Mickey, a Seabourn representative. “There are no bad cabins.”
A member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, one the world’s most prestigious gastronomic societies devoted to the art of fine dining, Seabourn’s restaurants offer fare comparable to some of the finest establishments in the world. Guests can choose where and when they want to dine and talented chefs are happy to cater to individual requests. In addition to four restaurants, on-board amenities also include outdoor pools, a luxury spa, a boutique, Internet access, workout facilities with yoga classes and personal trainers, a complimentary open bar, watersports, on-deck massages, and an in-suite bar stocked with a guest’s personal choices.
“You can dine anywhere on the ship at any of the restaurants,” Bryan says. “The food was fabulous with just anything you wanted.”
“Seabourn brings authenticity to travelers by bringing the destination to you,” Mickey says. “Guests have the benefit of immersing in the culture of the destination.”
Bryan’s seven-day Baltic trip departed from Copenhagen and ended in Stockholm with stops in St. Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Helsinki along the way.
“On excursions, we were met at the port by a local guide who took us on a tour of the area,” Bryan recalls. “If we wanted, we could also book a private car and go on our own. It all very well organized and tailored to exactly what we were interested in doing. We visited casinos and had dinner with new friends we made along the way. In Stockholm, we took a canal tour and were able to see so much of the city. It was just an incredible experience.”
Seabourn’s fleet circles the globe year round and includes cruises lasting from seven days to more than 100 days. Recently, Seabourn released its European itineraries for 2013, which includes more than 100 departures from April through October. More than 180 ports from the Mediterranean to the Arctic are listed.
“I’ve been on many cruise ships and this is the only one I’ll ever go on again,” Bryan says of her experience. “Everything is included in one price and there were no hidden costs. It’s pure luxury.”
|A suite on the Seabourn Legend.Michel Verdure/© 2011 Seabourn|